Originally Posted by jeremiason
I swam from the bow and followed the rode
, after about 75 feet, the chain took a 90 degree turn in the sand and ran to the anchor. In other words, my 37,000 lbs. boat was riding along in 25 knots of wind
, using the weight of the chain only. So regardless of what the experts say, at least in this instance the weight of the chain did help.
Look the fact is, chain lasts longer, won't caffe, provides more weight for cantanary and with a proper windless is easier to handle...
In my humble opinion, if your boat can handle the weight... Chain is the way to go.
After a few years of this I'd have a close look at your hull deck
joint up in the bow.
A brait line will absorb much more of the loads that are otherwise transferred into the hull
by all chain. The catenary disappears in any real load (sorry 40 knots is not a blow in my book, try 80), and all that load is going directly into your hull and deck hardware
In any real blow you will have a lot of gusty conditions. This is borne out by stripcharts I maintained in two big tropical storms in the Bahamas
one year. I rode those out in a 19,000 lb wood 40' yawl with tons of windage using 60 feet of chain and brait rode with a 60# danforth high tensile anchor at 8:1. I didn't drag an inch with sustained winds between 50-70 with gusts to 87 knots.
When the hard gusts hit you could feel the boat surge back on the rode. When it was at it's worst I was on deck to check everything. The rode was BAR TAUGHT in the gusts and the brait was hot to the touch, but more than 100 feet of brait acted like a giant shock absorber when the gusts hit dramatically reducing loads on the deck hardware
strategies were taught to me by Olin Stephens years ago and I have nothing but strong experience with these techniques to back up his advise.
Other considerations; All chain rode also adds a HUGE amount of weight to the boat and most are not going to shift this weight to the bilge
amidships when they aren't at anchor. This weight forward increases the yachts pitching moment and this radically impacts performance and comfort aboard. This weight is your enemy in steep following seas and is a huge detriment in a rollover scenario. Especially if it breaks free.
There are a lot of people who say that weight doesn't matter but the fact of the matter is, weight does matter, and it matters a lot. It matters even more where it's located.
I've never had use for more than 60 feet of chain and I have two chain rodes, one 25' length and another 60' length. The latter lives amidships in the bilge
secured to the deadwood unless it's in use, and I can count the times it's been used on 10 fingers.
It's been linked before but the conclusions drawn in Peter Smith's article cannot be ignored: Catenary & Scope In Anchor Rode: Anchor Systems For Small Boats
Weight is better put into the anchor, not chain. Chain has only one legitimate use and that's chafe resistance and most still employ far more chain than necessary.